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Application to improve Co Armagh Orange Hall refused

ABC planners have turned down a planning application for improvements to Tyrones Ditches Orange Hall, Mossview Road, near Poyntzpass, because proposals include an altered access to the site, and information regarding this has not been forthcoming.

The planning report explains Architectural Design Services NI, in Rathfriland, had complied with all other criteria on behalf of the applicant, John Adams, Tandragee Road, Newry.

The planning application also mentions the involvement of Tyrones Ditches Community Association.

The report states: “Approval is sought for an extension to the existing front porch and rear return.

“In addition, the existing curtilage of the hall is proposed to be extended in order to accommodate the aforementioned extension to the hall’s rear return. Given the sloping nature of the site, a retaining wall is proposed.

“This application involves an extension to an established Orange Hall, in order to provide additional and improved W.C. facilities, an enlarged front porch area, a re-positioned and enlarged store room, a rear lobby with rear door allowing direct external access to the enlarged rear curtilage area of said hall.

“It is considered that the subject proposal is a necessary community facility. In terms of design and form, the proposed development will have no greater adverse impact than the hall which currently exists on the site.

“There are a range of types of development which, in principle, are considered to be acceptable in the countryside. One of these development types is a necessary community facility to serve the local rural population.”

The report goes on to state the envisaged upgrade plans include new access arrangements, and that the information required regarding this has not been provided, hence the decision to turn down the planning application: “DfI Roads requested clarification regarding the access arrangements. While planning officers note that the application form states that it is proposed to use an existing unaltered access, the existing and proposed site layout plans do not support this assertion and, on this basis, officers requested clarification and/or information from the agent on November 28, 2023, and February 5, 2024.

“To date no response has been received. Given this, it has not been possible to determine whether the planning considerations regarding access and road safety have been met.

“Given that the agent has not provided the required information to clarify the position, it has not been possible to determine whether the subject proposal would not prejudice road safety or significantly inconvenience the flow of traffic. Therefore, refusal is recommended.”

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